You treasure your gorgeous marble countertops, but cleaning them requires more attention and care than other surfaces.
Marble is not only a pricey design choice, but it's vulnerable to acids, alkalis, and abrasive cleaners. If your budget allows, buying a commercial, neutral pH marble cleaner is an excellent investment to ensure the safest cleaning method for your beautiful countertops. However, a simple solution of baking soda and water can be a great alternative. Baking soda doesn't have harsh chemicals, it's an effective sanitizer and stain remover, and it's less likely to etch marble than stronger chemicals such as vinegar and ammonia. Not to mention, you probably have a box in your fridge or kitchen cabinet already.
The trick is knowing how to polish with baking soda correctly to avoid any damage to your counters.
How Often to Clean Marble Countertops
Although baking soda is a versatile and effective cleaner, you shouldn't use it on marble every day, as frequent use could dull your marble countertops. Instead, you can give your counter a quick clean daily (or as needed) with a little dish soap and a damp rag. Make sure to finish with a clean, dry cloth to avoid any leftover soap residue.
Marble is a soft stone made of calcium carbonate, so it's easily stained, dulled, and scratched. Do your best not to leave spills unaddressed and avoid exposing your counters to acidic substances (such as vinegar) or strong alkaline agents like ammonia and detergents. Baking soda is alkaline and is considered a mild abrasive, so you can use it to remove stubborn residue but should do so with care.
Never use a scrubber or scrub brush on marble, as it can scratch the surface. Instead, use a damp rag or the soft side of a sponge.
Equipment / Tools
- Soft cloth or sponge
- Baking soda
How to Clean Marble Countertops With Baking Soda
Sprinkle Baking Soda on the Counter
Begin by sprinkling a little baking soda onto your countertops. A light layer should work, as if you were dusting a cutting board with flour before rolling out dough.
Lightly Scrub the Countertop
Gently rub the baking soda into the marble with a soft, damp cloth. Be careful not to scrub, since doing so could damage the surface.
Baking soda is a natural disinfectant, but it is also a light abrasive. Be sure to use it gently on marble surfaces, as light abrasives can still damage soft surfaces.
Rinse With Water
Finally, rinse your counters with water and dry with a soft towel. You'll want to rinse with water to neutralize the pH and dry thoroughly, so the solution is not in contact with the marble surface for any longer than necessary.
Removing Stains From Marble Countertops
Marble is a porous stone and is consequently susceptible to some stains. Substances like oil, coffee, and even water can leave some unfortunate marks if left unaddressed. Fortunately, there are ways to fix these blemishes and extend the lifespan of your counters.
- For oil stains: Clean gently with mineral oil. Be sure to thoroughly wipe the area with a dry cloth afterwards.
- For food and wine stains: Use a mixture of 12% peroxide bleach and a drop or two of ammonia. Finish this step by wiping the stain and cleaner with a damp rag.
- For water stains: Rub the stain lightly with a dry, 0000-rated steel wool pad. This same trick can work for minor nicks and scratches.
- For sticky, solid debris: Try a flat scraper, but be careful as you do so to avoid scratching the counters.
Tips to Keep Your Marble Countertops Clean Longer
Marble countertops are a pricey design choice, but there are plenty of ways to preserve their pretty and pristine appearance. Here are a few ideas to help you protect your countertops for years to come:
- Limit contact with acidic substances like tomato juice and wine. If you spill, clean immediately!
- Use coasters, cutting boards, and trivets consistently to keep stains and scuffs away.
- Research cleaning solutions thoroughly before using them. For instance, lemon juice and vinegar are effective cleaners, but they'll damage marble.
- Keep unwanted scratches away and be careful not to slide your pans and cutting boards across the countertops.
- To protect your marble countertops from future stains and scratches, consider resealing them every 3-6 months. Consult your manufacturer before moving forward with this step, as not all marble countertops require regular resealing.